RESIDENTS are ‘seething’ after the closure of a Leigh recycling centre left a trail of job losses, rubbish ‘piled up taller and wider than five terraced houses’ and reports of rats near the site.

SC Chadwick and Sons Ltd has gone into liquidation, leading to 35 job losses at its waste sites on Manchester Road in Leigh and Bolton, which have both been served with suspension notices by the Environment Agency due to ‘non-compliance of their environmental permits and the risk of pollution’.

Angry residents have contacted the Journal claiming the now abandoned Leigh site has been left in a horrendous state, with rubbish everywhere and reports of numerous rat sightings.

However Wigan Council says no evidence of rats was found at the site following an investigation by a public protection officer.

A Chadwicks in Leigh spokesman said: “We went into liquidation on Thursday and our offices closed on Friday and will not be reopening.

“There have been 35 people who have lost their jobs but luckily they have all found new alternative jobs since the news broke.”

This claim was refuted by John Hawkins, 54, who worked at the company for five years, mainly at the Leigh site.

John, who was told in February that both sites were to close, said: “Saying that all the workers laid off have found alternative employment is simply not true. I can’t speak for the others but I haven’t found another job yet.”

The 70-year-old waste management and scrap metal recycling business was served with a suspension order by the Environment Agency for the Bolton site in February, with regulatory action taken against the Leigh site.

An Environment Agency spokesman said: “The Environment Agency took regulatory action against SC Chadwick and Sons Ltd’s two sites due to non-compliance with their environmental permits and the risk of pollution.

“Throughout this time the Environment Agency has worked in partnership with other agencies, including local authorities and the fire and rescue service, to monitor and assesses both S C Chadwick and Sons Ltd’s waste management sites.

“This includes prearranged and unannounced site inspections and off-site monitoring in the local areas.

“Unfortunately we have now been informed S C Chadwick and Sons Ltd has gone into liquidation and has stopped trading.

“Currently the Environment Agency is considering the implications of the company going into liquidation.”

One resident living close to the Leigh site, who did not wish to be named, said: “There are rats in our streets because of the rubbish piled up taller and wider than five terraced houses at the site in Leigh. My kids were chasing a rat away the other day. I am seething over this. The council is saying there aren’t any rats but there are. They are around our homes.”

Paul Boylan said on the Journal’s Facebook page: “I live in one of the streets next to Chadwicks and I’ve seen at least six rats since it closed and the rest of the people in my street have seen them, including young kids.”

Joanna Francis added: “I live near Chadwicks and have never seen an escaped rat until now (nine and counting). How can rats not come from that huge pile of rubbish?”

Debbie Greenhalgh said: “I had one (a rat) on my front lawn last week. The sooner that place is cleared the better.”

Paul Barton, assistant director for operational services at the council, said: “After reports of rats in the area our public protection officer investigated and found no evidence of rats.”

“However we have noticed that improvements can be made to the road’s drains and gullies to prevent rat movements.

“We have also offered our pest control service to people in the area, which will help give them reassurance and expertise on any potential issue affecting their homes.

“The Environment Agency is responsible for regulatory action on the Chadwick’s site and we are continuing to work with them as this matter progresses.”